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Greg Prince and Jason Fry
Faith and Fear in Flushing made its debut on Feb. 16, 2005, the brainchild of two longtime friends and lifelong Met fans.

Greg Prince discovered the Mets when he was 6, during the magical summer of 1969. He is a Long Island-based writer, editor and communications consultant. Contact him here.

Jason Fry is a Brooklyn writer whose first memories include his mom leaping up and down cheering for Rusty Staub. Check out his other writing here.

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Days of Discontent

One of my odder Met hobbies is keeping track of the franchise’s ghosts — players who are on the active roster but never appear in a game. Going into Tuesday night, the Mets had rostered four ghosts in 2022, which would be a record for a season: Gosuke Katoh, R.J. Alvarez, Sam Clay and Kramer Robertson had all been trapped in ectoplasm, increasing the all-time spooky roster to 13.

Alvarez returned to the active roster Tuesday night as part of the shuffling necessitated by the Mets giving up 13 runs and losing Carlos Carrasco to the IL for a month or so onĀ  on Monday, but I didn’t figure on seeing him — and certainly not in the third inning. I was on my way to a bathroom in a restaurant on the north end of Long Beach Island when I did a double-take: A hairy Met reliever was coming out of the bullpen, and my brain stumbled over the fact that a) Trevor Williams was replacing Taijuan Walker; and b) wait a minute that wasn’t Trevor Williams.

No, it was Alvarez (Walker was taken down by back spasms and is headed for the inevitable MRI on Wednesday) and Gameday told me he wasn’t exactly effective. There were the green circles of balls that were way over batters’ heads and too many announcements of IN PLAY, RUN(S). Robbie Grossman took Alvarez deep, and then Matt Olson hit a two-run shot that might wind up worked into the plot of next season’s For All Mankind.

Meanwhile, Charlie Morton was simply obliterating Met hitters, juggling a sweeping curve and a fastball to keep them honest. Inning after inning went in the books with nothing happening, and even though the Mets were within three, you didn’t exactly feel a comeback in the cards. They did bring the tying run to the plate in the seventh, but Dylan Lee fanned Jeff McNeil, and two more Atlanta runs in the bottom of the frame made the rest academic.

The Mets, word has it, are calling up Brett Baty in an effort to give the suddenly moribund offense a jolt — a tactic that’s worked wonders for the Braves, as it happens. That’s reason for hope — and even if Baty’s time on the roster is brief, it’s always fun to get a preview of a future that’s been billed as bright.

More immediate reason for hope, though, is that the next two games will be pitched by Max Scherzer and Jacob deGrom. Win those two and the Mets will have pushed the Braves right back to where they started this series. You’ve probably heard that momentum is tomorrow’s starting pitcher; the Mets, fortunately, will be sending out two of the best on the planet.

4 comments to Days of Discontent

  • Curt Emanuel

    Dead bats, injured pitchers – there’s that Mets team that’s been hiding all season!

    Sorry, I’m older now and no longer the eternal optimist about my teams. Peterson stepping into the rotation is one thing – looks like Trevor may get a chance too.

    But with the next 2 pitchers we have a shot.

  • open the gates

    Billy Eppler probably has a sign hanging in his bedroom that says, in big block letters, YOU CAN NEVER HAVE ENOUGH PITCHING.

    For those who were wondering what earthly use a David Peterson, Trevor Williams, Tylor Megill, and/or Joey Lucchesi (latter two coming soon) could have for a team with the “best rotation ever”, as per Carrasco, now you know.

    As a side note, am I the only one who noticed ballplayers sliding around the last two days like a bunch of mud wrestlers? Note to Braves ground crew: it rains in Georgia a lot in the summer. Get your act together or it may be a bunch of your guys getting injured also.

  • Seth

    Who are these Mets?

  • Eric

    It’s remarkable that in what could have been the pivotal peak of the season, a wave of injuries and illness hit all at once. Besides Escobar, Guillorme, Nido, Walker, and Carrasco, it’s apparent that Marte and McNeil are playing hurt. Meanwhile, the offense, including the players not playing hurt, is having another cold spell, except this time the pitching couldn’t carry the hitting because it got hurt.

    For the Braves, this is their chance to drag the Mets back by the neck — realistically their last chance if they fail — and they’re taking advantage of the Mets’ sudden vulnerability.

    This situation is what having 2 Cy Young-caliber aces is for. The high-leverage Mets relievers, certainly Diaz, should be available, too. Fingers crossed that neither Mets ace gets hurt like their 2 rotation mates. They’re all older pitchers with significant, recent injuries.